The National Pork Board and its public relations firm, Weber Shandwick, are working "to distance 'the other white meat' from the outbreak of swine flu in the U.S." The industry group "is highlighting health and safety measures at hog raising and production facilities in the U.S. and assuring consumers and media that pork products are safe to eat ... [and] providing media with soundbites and video from top staff." The group is pushing people to call the virus the "H1N1 flu." Pork Board head Chris Novak complained that "calling this swine flu, when to date there has been no connection between animals and humans, has the potential to cause confusion." Meanwhile, PR executives are giving the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) high marks for its flu communications. A Burson-Marsteller crisis management specialist called the CDC "pretty effective ... in informing the public and, just as importantly, in setting expectations. ... They erred on the side of overcommunication and that's exactly the right thing to do," she told PR Week.
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